Ver Angola


Police arrested two men for allegedly stealing railway sleepers and rails

Police arrested two citizens allegedly involved in the theft of more than 50 sleepers and support rails from the Luanda Railways railway line, in the Zenza do Itombe/Dondo section, Kwanza Norte province, local press reported.

: Lusa

According to the spokesman of the police of Kwanza Norte, Edgar Salvador, after popular complaints about this practice, which in recent days has been registered in the country, it was possible to proceed to the seizure of the material and arrest the two men, who were transporting the product, which was destined for Luanda.

"Since it was realized that the commercialization of this material is profitable, there is an effective involvement in terms of collection and theft of this material," said Edgar Salvador, who was speaking to Angola's Public Television.

The metal, according to the detainees, was purchased at a price of 57,000 kwanzas, in the localities of Nova Cassualala and other villages, located along the railway line.

The delegate of the Luanda Railroad in Kwanza Norte, Alfredo Ngunza, said that the removal of these materials cause the derailment of the train, an act that he considered "reprehensible" for causing insecurity in the circulation of trains.

"Unfortunately, in the last few months, at the level of the general line, as well as at the Dondo branch line, we have seen a lot of seizures", said Alfredo Ngunza, adding that at an internal level, besides the criminal measure, there is also a disciplinary measure, due to the suspected involvement of some employees in this practice.

Last month, in the same Zenza section of Itombe/Dondo, large amounts of material were also stolen from the railway line.

Last Friday, the Minister of Transport, Ricardo de Abreu, said that it is necessary to raise awareness about the damages caused by the theft of rails and railway rolling stock, which underlies the illegal business of selling steel that is taking place in the country.

The governor said that the theft of rails or the vandalizing of railway means, a little bit all over the country, is not due to lack of inspection, but to the population's lack of awareness.

"This is something that we would like to appeal also to the deputies, in the sense of encouraging our population not to take these measures, because they only harm even more those who need these means the most", said Ricardo de Abreu, who was speaking in the National Assembly.

The holder of the Transport portfolio stressed that the acts of vandalism on railway lines harm not only the economy, but the very safety of the users of these railway lines.

"The theft of these rails, they are not rails that are in operation, they are generally rails that today are stored for maintenance or were replaced and obviously there is a big business that underlies the steel and that ends up creating this dynamic, whether in transport, or even in the Ministry of Energy and other ministries or sectors that end up being attacked in some way," he stressed.

The police authorities are concerned with the increase in the crime of vandalizing public assets and have regularly announced the detention, in the provinces of Luanda, Benguela and Kwanza Norte, of nationals suspected of stealing train tracks, caught in the act, as well as cabins and electrical cables, lamp posts, drinking water pipes, railway sleepers, for commercial purposes.


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